Written By: David Carr
Photo Credit: Genie Sanchez
If you are a music fan in Hollywood, you have undoubtedly heard of Camp Freddy, the cover band made up of ex-members of The Cult, Guns and Roses and so on. Well, coming on the scene like a hard rock freight train are The Chelsea Girls. The Chelsea Girls, are an all-female supergroup who offer up some serious covers of a lot of classic hard rock and heavy metal.
The band features lead vocalist Tuesdae, guitarist Allison Robertson (The Donnas), bassist Corey Parks (Nashville Pussy) and drummer Samantha Maloney (Motley Crue, Hole, Peaches, Crystal Method). Their set includes songs by Guns and Roses, Judas Priest and AC/DC. The last band makes sense considering the group's motto is, "for those about to rock, we will seduce you!" The Chelsea Girls are equal parts musicianship, attitude and alluring appeal. They not only have a few residencies in Hollywood and San Diego but they have also secured a couple of dates opening for Motorhead! I had the pleasure of chatting with drummer Samantha Maloney to get her take on how the "Girls" came together and where they are headed.
David Carr: Samantha, tell me how the group got together and why?
Samantha Maloney: I actually thought about doing this a couple years ago, but I was just really busy with other projects, things -- you know life happens! I got a message from Corey Parks. She said that she had an idea of starting a cover band like Camp Freddy -- she wanted to do an all female version. I told her that I was down to do it but only if we could get Allison Robertson of the Donnas to do it.
DC: What was the hardest part with regards to putting the band together?
SM: The toughest part was finding the right singer. We really wanted to get someone who would take this seriously and who could really sing! I mean we knew we were going to be doing some classics so we wanted someone who would do right by the songs. Allison had a friend named Tuesdae. She actually had DJ'd her birthday party two years earlier. We went and saw her live and we were floored! She was super cool, easy on the eyes and she had this amazing four octave voice!
DC: So is the goal of The Chelsea Girls to play songs you like and have fun?
SM: The goal is to be the best cover band in the world! We pick songs that we like and they are songs we can play and pull off live. Playing the songs is fun. There is a whole new generation of kids getting into this music thanks to Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
DC: Have you seen the age break down with regards to younger kids and folks who grew up with this music both coming to your shows?
SM: Oh yeah I have seen it! We had one guy who is forty-five years old come to one of the shows with his son. He wants us to play his son's Bar Mitzvah!
DC: HA! That's gonna be one heck of a Bar Mitzvah! So would you say that the notion of female artists not being able to rock has hard as their male counter parts is a thing of the past or do you still run into that perception?
SM: You know I never really think about the issue until I am asked about it. I mean the last time I had to confront it was when I was in hardcore band in the 90's. I was the only girl in the band and I guess my band members heard these guys saying that we could not be that hardcore because I was a female -- I mean we started this band for two reasons.
We wanted to show girls that they CAN do this and we wanted to show guys that yes, girls CAN do this. I mean we all love rock and roll but you rarely see women playing rock and roll on TV. We want to show girls that this can be your reality. You can learn an instrument, play it, join a band, and write your own songs, the whole deal. And as for the guys, we are stopping the whole, "I play really well for a girl." No, it's I play really well!
DC: You mentioned Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Both games seem to be exposing a new generation to some great music but do you ever think to yourself when you see someone playing these games, "man why don't you get a real guitar or drum set?"
SM: Well I think both games are really getting more kids into the idea of playing a musical instrument. I mean, I think there are kids that never thought about playing an instrument who are now playing these games and are buying real instruments and starting to take lessons -- the games are getting kids to want to do it for real and that's good.
DC: How did you get started playing drums?
SM: When I was twelve years old I discovered Headbanger's Ball on MTV and I was hooked! The more my dad hated it, the more I loved it. I was really interested in the physicality of playing drums. I finally got a drum set, a private instructor and then I auditioned for, and got into, FAME high school in New York.
DC: What else do you have going on?
SM: Well, I'm in a band called The Ingeneues. We are a cross between Massive Attack, Lady Tron and Depeche Mode. I am an actress and I was on the show "Californication" last season. I am in a new movie coming out called "Adventures in Power." It's a movie about air drumming! I also DJ with Tuesdae.
DC: Wow sounds like you are one busy woman! You remind me of some of my relatives who are West Indian. They are always bragging about how they have fifteen jobs!
SM: HA! Yeah it's a lot but for now the priority is The Chelsea Girls. We have residencies coming up in Hollywood, San Diego and Las Vegas.
DC: I believe you will also be opening up for Motorhead correct?
SM: Yeah! We will be opening the Southern California Motorhead shows. Lemmy has jumped on stage with us before. He loves us and we dig him!
DC: Samantha thanks for chatting with me and good luck with your up coming shows.
SM: Thank you for taking time out to talk to me!
The CHELSEA GIRLS' fall shows are:
9/18 Brick By Brick San Diego, CA
9/19 The Roxy Los Angeles, CA
10/7 House of Blues Anaheim, CA w/ Motorhead
10/9 Club NOKIA Los Angeles, CA w/ Motorhead
10/10 House of Blues Las Vegas, NV w/ Motorhead
10/31 Brick By Brick San Diego, CA
11/20 Brick By Brick San Diego, CA
11/21 The Roxy Los Angeles, CA
12/18 Brick By Brick San Diego, CA
12/19 The Roxy Los Angeles, CA
The Chelsea Girls Just Wanna Rock - And Have Fun!
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